Speaking the Truth in Love

Children Need a Boaz

Image result for willow tree figurinesBoaz is a wealthy and morally upright farmer living in Bethlehem. Ruth, his future wife, is a young girl from the neighboring country of Moab. When they meet, he urges her to glean after the reapers in his barley fields. He promises his protection. “Have I not charged the young men not to molest you?” (Ruth 2:9). This ancient sexual harassment policy reminds us that people never change. Left to themselves, morally weak men take advantage of vulnerable women.

All men—saints and sinners—find women sexually appealing. But a godless man sees a woman as one-dimensional. She is an object of Image result for willow tree fathersexual pleasure, and he puts up with the rest of her feminine qualities to keep the fires of passion burning.
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Boys desperately need a father like Boaz, a dad who sees and embraces the personhood of women. If a man respects women, his son is more likely to do the same. He will treat his sisters with kindness and self-restraint. He will treat his mother with tenderness. He will treat his wife as a close friend and an equal partner in grace. And he will honor the boundaries between himself and the women who don’t belong to him.

Image result for willow tree fatherGirls need a father like Boaz too. If a man respects women, his daughter will insist on marrying a man who treats her with dignity. She will meet her husband’s deep need to be respected. She will save herself for the marriage bed (thereby sparing herself, her family, and society a good deal of trouble). And she will become a mother who knows what to expect of her sons.

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